Historic Town 1 – Stony Stratford
This 1 and a bit hour multi-cache will take you on a circular walk through the old and historic town of Stony Stratford and along the river Ouse. The name Stony Stratford comes from the Romans “The ford on the stone street”. This small town has played an important part in our English history; here the Saxon King Edward the Elder fought the Danes, and King John frequently held court. Follow the route below and learn more about our history.
• Park in the car park by the river at N52° 02.981 W000° 51.136 From the Car park walk to the nearest brick building. A = number of birds on the weather vane. Now try finding cache Ouse Valley Walk - Convenient Parking
• Now walk along the river (and look out for Ouse Valley Walk - Stumpy cache ) until you come to the second bridge. Do not cross the bridge, but head into town to find the old Fire Station at N52° 03.311 W000° 51.210 This small building served as Stony Stratford’s Fire Station for almost a hundred years. The town suffered a series of devastating fires in 1703, 1725, 1736 and 1742. From the plaque note down the dates 18BC – 1D5E
• In common with many small towns in England, the hub of activity was the Market Square. A place we shall now visit N52° 03.353 W000° 51.233 The remains of an elm tree in the southwest corner of the square bear a plaque set there in 19F0, recording the fact that John Wesley (the famous 18th century Methodist preacher) visited Stony Stratford on five occasions, and on one of them he preached from the shade of this tree. Unfortunately the Elm tree and plaque has been removed due to it having Dutch Elm disease. A new tree will be planted in the future. The plaque is now inside the methodist church, the answer to F is 5. now look for cache Stony Stratford - take a seat!
• Shakespeare, King Richard III Act 2, scene IV “Last night I hear, they lay at Northampton; At Stony Stratford will they be tonight.” These words refer to Prince Edward V aged 12 who, accompanied by Sir Richard Grey, stopped here enroute from Ludlow to Edward's proposed Coronation in London. They stayed overnight at what was then the Rose & Crown Inn and whilst there were captured by Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Lord Grey was arrested and subsequently executed; Edward was taken to the Tower of London and murdered. Visit the plaque at N52° 03.391 W000° 51.121 and note the year G4Hi. Another detour and you can find cache Cache in the attic ?
• The famous rival to the Cock Hotel was its near neighbour, The Bull. It was here that the great fire started in 1742 when a chambermaid, afraid of being reprimanded for burning a sheet whilst ironing it, stuffed the sheet up a chimney. When the resulting fire reached the thatch, it spread rapidly down the street and even across the river as blazing thatch was swept along by the wind. By the time the fire was over, most of the lower part of the town including St Mary's Church had been destroyed. The total damage was first estimated at £22,000 after destroying 146 houses and a church. Visit “The Bull” at N52° 03.436 W000° 51.200 What are the numbers above the door JK?
• N52° 03.437 W000° 51.201 The Cock Hotel is the largest and arguably the most famous old coaching inn/hotel in Stony with a history going back centuries. A John Cok was the landlord in about 1480, and the hotel takes its name from him, not the bird depicted on the sign. This Inn has two historic claims, the children’s nursery rhyme “Ride a Cock horse to Banbury Cross”. The other is the place of origin of the term 'Cock & Bull Story', recognised throughout the English-speaking world. This dates back to the late 18th/early 19th centuries, at the height of the great coaching era, when Stony Stratford was an important stopping-off point for mail and passenger coaches travelling between London and the North. Travellers on these coaches were regarded as a great source of current news from remote parts of the country - news which would be imparted in the town's two main inns, The Cock and The Bull. The two establishments rapidly developed a rivalry as to which could furnish the most outlandish and scurrilous travellers' tales. L = How many pillars are by the main door?
• At N52° 03.571 W000° 51.471 or near this spot at the end of the High Street once stood a memorial to a beloved Queen. When Eleanor, wife of Edward I, died, he erected a monumental cross at every point that her coffin had rested on its journey from Lincolnshire to London. One of these places was Stony Stratford. The cross survived for about 350 years, before being destroyed in the Civil War. The plaque on the wall in the background commemorates its site. M = Add the four digits of the year together, then half it to get the final answer.
Before calculating the final position, continue walking North (about 20 metres). At the end of the last building on the left is a public footpath, follow this to the river. If you want a better path walk further up the pavement (about 100 meters) and you will come to a laid path. This will also follow the river but adds a little extra distance to the walk.and the chance to do 2 other caches Ouse Valley Walk - Watling Street and Ouse Valley Walk - Flood Plain
| A. = | B. = | C. = | D. = | E. = | F. = | G. = | H. = | i. = | J. = | K. = | L. = | M. = |
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The Cache is located at:
N5(A-G)° (C-K)(D-B).(E-H) F C / W000° (A+L)(I-L).J (G+K) M
on your walk to the cache you can also pick up 2 more caches Ouse Valley Walk - Willow and Ouse Valley Walk - Bridge to Passenham
Cache has now moved 10ft to the left along the fence/hedge. Will update coordinates next time I visit with GPS
Back to the Car. Cross back over the bridge, and there are a further 2 caches to be found Ouse Valley Walk - Mill Stream and Ouse Valley Walk - Stony sluice then follow the path upstream, with the river on your right.